Writes the news agency:
“Air raids hit aid trucks near the city of Aleppo on Monday, a monitoring group reported, as the Syrian military declared that a week-long ceasefire was over.”
Only hours before, the news agency had reported that the ceasefire was on the verge of collapse, writing that the deal “brokered by the United States and Russia was in deep trouble on Monday as a rebel official said it had practically failed and signaled insurgents were preparing for a full resumption of fighting.”
This assessment would be shared by Secretary of State John Kerry, who said in New York that “the basic ceasefire is holding but fragile” and that he and his people are “waiting to get the full download from our team that is meeting now with the Russians in Geneva.”
The official end to the ceasefire comes two days after a U.S.-led coalition airstrike killed 62 Syrian soldiers, marking the first known instance of American forces directly attacking Assad’s military. The Obama administration expressed “regret” following the strike, saying U.S. forces thought the targeted base was controlled by ISIS.
Ironically, the U.S. military’s error brought about that very thing. Following the airstrike, ISIS forces overran andsecured the facility.
Over the weekend, United States Central Command (CENTCOM) stated via press release that “U.S. Central Command said the strike was immediately halted ‘when coalition officials were informed by Russian officials that it was possible the personnel and vehicles targeted were part of the Syrian military.’”
A spokesman for the Syrian military, while speaking at a press briefing on Sunday, called the strike a “serious and blatant attack on Syria and its military” and “firm proof of the U.S. support of Daesh.” Daesh is the Arabic acronym for ISIS.
Russia called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council following the attack. Prior to that meeting, which took place Saturday evening, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry was quoted as saying: “We are reaching a terrifying conclusion for the whole world: that the White House is defending the Islamic State. There can be no doubts about that.”
Hours before the airstrike on Saturday, Russian President Putin had expressed his concerns about efforts by the United States in Syria. Putin questioned the U.S. commitment to the ceasefire, stating that Washington wasn’t ready to sever ties with “terrorist elements” in the country.
“In my opinion, this comes from the desire to keep the combat potential in fighting the legitimate government of Bashar Assad,” the president was quoted as saying. Putin added that this is “a very dangerous route.”
Meanwhile, desperately needed humanitarian aid convoys are being blocked from entering war-torn Aleppo due to the escalating violence.
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